In my last article, we drilled down how to define the best employee for your company’s needs. Now that we have a picture of what that looks like, we need to know how to identify the candidate.
Once you’ve posted the job, you have a lot of work to do. Hopefully you’ll be in the position where you have many resumes to sort through, but even if this is not the case, you need to know what to look for.
If you are receiving many resumes, create a cut-off date for submission. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by more and more resumes coming in each day. Just take all those resumes received after the cut-off date and set them aside. You will look through them if you have to, but for now you have plenty of choices. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking at resumes:
- Job hopping - Keep a lookout for job hopping. Although there may be a good reason for switching jobs, if you are seeing someone who is moving jobs every few months there is a good chance they will move after a few months with your organization.
- Consistent work history – When reviewing the resume make note of any gaps of three months or more in employment. There may be valid explanations for these gaps, but a time without work may be a red flag. Make sure to ask the candidate about each gap in job history.
- Minimum requirements – Look back at the job description and the knowledge, skills and abilities you determined this person should have. Does the resume reflect those skills, education and the minimum requirements? If not, it’s easy to set that resume aside.
- Bonus qualities – If you’re flooded with resumes you may have the luxury of being picky with your candidates. Take those qualities that you determined were preferred, but not absolutely necessary and determine whether the applicant has those qualities. If you are not able to be picky, indicate which applicants have bonus qualities and which do not so you can keep track of those that have preferred experience or traits.
- Professionalism – Look at each resume carefully. Is it thorough and grammatically correct? Does it look professional? A resume can reflect the candidate’s attention to detail as well as how serious he or she is about getting a job.
Sometimes you receive many wonderful resumes (don’t you wish this were the case with all positions!) and you want to use the phone interview as a way to narrow down your candidates. In this case you can stick to the broader questions, but look for position fit, desire and potential growth. For instance, “What are you looking for in a position?”, “How will you contribute to our company?” or “Why did you leave your past position?” These kinds of questions may help you narrow down to candidates that would fit your open position.
Once you have completed the phone interview, if you want to move forward with the candidate give them the date, time and place of the interview. In the final article we will explore how to find the best employee through the interview process.
By Annelise Larson, Human Resource Consultant, PHR
Founded in 1999, EMPO Corporation is a leading Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO) and Professional Employer Organization (PEO). EMPO services all markets with specialties in the manufacturing, professional services and nonprofit sectors. For more information on EMPO Corporation and other human resource related topics, visit www.empocorp.com.